Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Manchester United's Phil Neville admits: I can't bear to look at the league table

Season of hurt: Coach Phil Neville with David Moyes

Phil Neville admits Manchester United have been so bad this year that he cannot bring himself to look at the Premier League table.

Neville won the league six times in 10 years at United, but the former England defender has experienced nothing like that success since he returned to Old Trafford to become David Moyes' first-team coach last summer.

United are seventh in the table, some 20 points behind bitter rivals Liverpool with just five matches left.

United are guaranteed to end the campaign with their worst points total in the Premier League era, and that does not sit easy with their former left-back.

"It's been difficult watching other teams above us do well and to even look at a league table," said the United coach.

"I find it difficult to watch Match of the Day on Saturday night; I find it almost impossible because we've suffered this season."

Neville, who played under Moyes for eight years at Everton, insists everyone at the club is hurting because of their current predicament.

"We have failed on the football pitch and that doesn't sit kindly with anyone," Neville said ahead of United's trip to Everton tomorrow.

"We are not hiding away from the fact that we have under performed.

"We have not fulfilled any levels of expectations this season."

Neville, one of the famous 'Class of '92', admits United cannot afford to have another poor season when they return after the summer break.

"We cannot allow what's happened this season to happen next season," he said.

"We are working every hour that God sends to make sure that next season is better."

Meanwhile Moyes says he is making good progress in his attempt to bring new players to Manchester United.

Moyes, who has substantial funds to bring in at least three marquee signings this summer, has been linked with moves for Toni Kroos, Luke Shaw and a number of players from the Portuguese league, including William Carvalho, Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez.

And Moyes revealed yesterday that he is getting a clearer picture of who he wants to sign.

"I'm well into my planning with my thoughts and ideas getting ready for next year," said Moyes, who watched Benfica play Porto on Wednesday, according to Portuguese media.

"We're linked with player after player and, every time I go to a game, I'm supposed to signing three or four players from that game.

"That isn't the case but everyone is well aware we are looking to make signings and will try to do that whenever the opportunity arises.

"It will probably be after the end of the season before anything takes place but we have got to look to do one or two things."

Moyes will lose Nemanja Vidic to Inter Milan in the summer while Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs are also out of contract.

Question marks remain over players like Javier Hernandez, Nani and Shinji Kagawa, who have all struggled to find a regular first-team spot this year.

Moyes wants to conclude any business as soon as possible.

"Ideally all clubs would like to get the work done early," he said. "We cannot guarantee it but will try to make that happen."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre